Smashburger® Names Partners + Napier as Creative and Media Agency of Record

New brand campaign slated to launch March 2020


ROCHESTER, NY, Feb. 4, 2020 — Smashburger, a leading fast casual better burger concept with more than 300 locations, has selected integrated creative company Partners + Napier as creative and media agency of record following a competitive review. The announcement comes in advance of Smashburger’s new integrated brand campaign, slated to launch in March 2020.

Partners + Napier was selected for its deep food experience and integrated approach to uniting creative and media. Clients span restaurant, cooking/lifestyle, food service, beverage alcohol and more, including fast-growing established brands like CoreLife Eatery, Marlow’s Tavern, Instant Pot, Robert Mondavi Winery, Pyrex and Saputo Dairy Foods.


“The Partners team showed great passion for our brand throughout the process,” said Scott Johnson, Vice President and Head of Marketing, who led the review after joining Smashburger in August 2019. “They clearly understand our category and our customers, and their creative ideas are already driving new growth for our business.”


In its first 30 days, Partners + Napier launched the “Comfort for All” campaign for Smashburger’s new Crispy Chicken Smash, a 70 percent bigger golden fried, cracker-crusted chicken breast. The campaign positioned the Crispy Chicken Smash as the ultimate comfort food — a perfect remedy for life’s uncomfortable moments, like running into a family member on Tinder or attempting to parallel park in front of a crowd.


“With this campaign, we’re not just owning crispy — we’re owning comfort,” said Rob Kottkamp, Chief Creative Officer at Partners + Napier. “We’re leaning into all the humorous and uncomfortable moments that our target audience experiences on a given day, offering some relief amid the chaos.”


The campaign was activated through online video, display, social media, radio and out-of-home, aiming to reach consumers during moments when they could use a boost of comfort. It also included a buy-one-get-one promotion on the heels of the nation’s fried chicken sandwich craze, affirming that Smashburger is a welcoming place for everyone, regardless of where you’re from, who you love, or how you identify.


Overall, the effort drove one of the biggest sales weeks in the chain’s history, with double-digit growth on the day of the promotion.


Added Courtney Cotrupe, Chief Executive Officer at Partners + Napier, “In today’s oversaturated fast casual market, building human connections is more critical than ever. We’re so proud to be partnering with Scott and the Smashburger team to strengthen the bonds they have with customers and create a place where people want to return again and again.”


About Smashburger:

Smashburger is a leading fast casual better burger restaurant known for its fresh, never frozen, Certified Angus Beef burgers that are smashed on the grill to sear in the juices and seal in the flavor. In addition to burgers, Smashburger offers grilled or crispy chicken sandwiches, turkey and black bean burgers, fresh salads, signature side items such as Brussels sprouts and SmashFries, and hand-spun shakes made with Häagen-Dazs ice cream. Smashburger began in 2007 in Denver, Colorado. There are currently more than 300 corporate and franchise restaurants operating in 36 states and eight countries. To learn more, visit


About Partners + Napier

Partners + Napier is an integrated creative company best known for amplifying brands through category-defying creativity. Ranked among the top 20 Most Effective Agencies in North America by Effie Worldwide 2018, 2019, and a Top 3 Agency in healthcare. Partners + Napier specializes in food and beverage, health and wellness, technology, and travel, proudly serving clients like Smashburger, Constellation Brands, Corelle Brands, Highmark Health, Delta Vacations, and Xerox. The agency is a part of Project Worldwide, an independent global network of wholly owned agencies. Please visit for more information.